"The arrival of spring in London is said to be heralded by the singing of nightingales in Berkley Square in the Mayfair section of the British capital. And one of the signs of the arrival of the summer season in Oklahoma’s capital is the parade of Native Americans that marches through downtown Oklahoma City in early June to inaugurate the three-day Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival.
On June 5, Native Americans in tribal dress representing more than 100 tribes made their way through several thoroughfares in downtown Oklahoma City before they entered the Cox Convention Center to the sound of the rhythmic pounding of drums.
Eric Oesch, the director of communications for Red Earth Inc., said the parade drew a total of 5,000 participants and spectators this year, and the Native American dancing competitions on the first day of the festival included slightly more than 600 participants from throughout North America.
The Red Earth Art Market, which featured a variety of traditional and contemporary Native American art such as jewelry, pottery, sculpture, beadwork and painting, also was located in the Convention Center.
Collectors and gallery owners from throughout the Southwest were in attendance at the market talking to artists and making purchases. Several prominent Native American artists first displayed their work at the festival in previous years."
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William F. O'Brien: Red Earth introduces world to Native America
(The Edmond Sun 6/30)
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